The Green Arch Program is designed to educate, engage, and empower groups of staff and faculty who want to promote a culture of sustainability at the University of Georgia. By joining this program, your department, team, or office makes Seven Basic Commitments to actively improve environmental, social, and economic sustainability at UGA during your day-to-day activities. We will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and tools that you need to conserve resources, reduce waste, protect the local environment, and enhance social wellbeing at UGA and beyond.

Seven Basic Commitments

The most cost-effective lighting control device is right at your fingertips! Be sure not to create a safety hazard, but otherwise you are hereby authorized to turn lights off in empty rooms.

Use your power settings to put your monitor and CPU to sleep after 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity. Ask your departmental IT staff for help if you need it.

The paperless office is a myth, but you can literally cut your paper use in half if you print on both sides whenever possible. You can even make this the default setting for your computer.

Green Arch Program participants will be given a slick deskside recycling bin with a landfill waste sidesaddle. When full, just carry it to the hallway or nearest common area and empty each into the appropriate Mixed Recyclables or Landfill bin.

Deskside Recycling System

Report leaks to FMD Work Request or 706-542-7456. For after hours emergencies call UGA Police at 706-542-2200.

Why not walk to lunch on Wednesdays? Or hop on a Campus Transit bus for your next meeting? Even a small change is a step in the right direction.

We welcome your questions, concerns, and comments about sustainability and campus operations. And you are our best ambassadors, so tell your colleagues in other offices about Green Arch!

How It Works

Get Buy-In

Designate an office champion to serve as a liaison to the Office of Sustainability.

Get your department head's approval. Get your office colleagues on board with the Seven Basic Commitments.

Get Started

Register your office. We'll reach out to you after you've registered. Register for Green Arch here.

Schedule a walk-through. Our experts will conduct a walkthrough of your building and office space to determine relevant sustainable strategies you can implement.

Give us 20 minutes. We will give your group a brief overview of campus operations and discuss specific actions you can take to reduce energy, water and waste in the workplace. We'll even give you a cool plaque for your office.

Get Green

Be mindful. Think about the knock-on effects of your daily activities. Consider: walk or bus to that meeting across campus; use one paper towel versus two; carry a reusable coffee cup & water bottle; use natural light; adjust clothes instead of thermostats …

Stay engaged. We will periodically check-in with your office to answer questions and discuss additional continuing education and networking opportunities.

Go above & beyond. Encourage colleagues to pursue Green Arch electives so you can earn badges for your office plaque.


Once your office joins the program, you will have opportunities to achieve electives and earn badges to put on your plaque. You may have already earned a few on your own! Electives will be re-evaluated annually. 



Participate in the UGA departmental compost program. We’ll put a collection bin in your break room or kitchen and we’ll pick it up and replace it with a clean bin weekly.

Alternative Commute

Awarded to offices with a significant number of members who ride, walk, bus, or carpool to work. Requires 25% participation.


Hold an annual volunteer work day, either self-organized or with a local non-profit.


Meet or exceed UGA’s goal of 75% participation in the Campaign for Charities program.

Lactation Room

Support new parents’ transitions back into the workplace by reducing the barriers to breastfeeding through the creation of a lactation room. The room should meet or exceed federal guidelines and should be available for use by the UGA community.

LGBT Safe Space Training

The Safe Space program at UGA is a three and a half hour training for faculty, staff, and students who are interested in learning about gender and sexual identity, homophobia, heterosexism, and how they can provide support and work toward being an ally for the LGBT community. Presented by the LGBT Resource Center. Requires 50% participation. 

Diversity and Inclusion Certificate

Get a closer look at the people, institutions, and initiatives that play an integral role in supporting and fostering diversity at UGA. You will explore diversity-related topics in order to enhance UGA’s welcoming and inclusive environment. Presented by the Office of Institutional Diversity. Requires 25% participation.

Visible Ally

Show your support for members of disenfranchised communities at UGA. Attend the events of groups such as MSP, the ISL, and others to learn about the issues affecting communities at UGA and around the world. Events can be found on each organization’s website or on the UGA Master Calendar. Requires 50% participation.

Got Your Six Training

Learn about the unique attributes of UGA’s student veterans, the challenges and opportunities they may face in the university setting, and how you can help empower them as civic leaders. Presented by the Student Veterans Resource Center. Requires 50% participation.

Advanced Energy

Join the Office of Sustainability for an in-depth look at where our energy comes from, how our buildings are heated and cooled, and large- and small-scale energy conservation strategies.

Advanced Water

The Office of Sustainability presents a comprehensive look at UGA’s water sources, where wastewater goes, local watershed preservation efforts, and water conservation opportunities.

Advanced Waste

What happens to stuff after you throw it “away?” Let the Office of Sustainability show you with a tour of the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Facility. Requires 50% participation.

Watershed Wonders

Enjoy the beauty of Athens’ watersheds! Participate in a river cleanup through local non-profits, working with the Office of Sustainability, or by participating in Athens’ Rivers Alive campaign. Alternatively, take your staff out on the water for a day full of fun water adventures. Requires 50% participation.

Driven Office

Give back to the community we live in by hosting or sponsoring at least one book, food, clothing, or shoe drive to donate to a local Athens charity! Examples include Food Bank of Northeast GA, Habitat for Humanity, Project Safe, and Books for Keeps.

Vocal Participant

Speak out! Post at least two sustainability related articles to your office’s social media feed per semester. They can be in the sphere of environmental, economic, or social sustainability, and can be related to your office’s activities or not.

Blood Donation or Drive

Earn this elective if at least 50% of eligible donors in your office give blood at least once a year. Or, host or sponsor at least one Red Cross blood drive per year. Learn more about hosting a blood drive.